BRCK has acquired an internet provider, Surf, to form sub-Saharan Africa’s largest public Wifi network. The acquisition will enable BRCK to gain more fixed Wifi locations.
BRCK was established in 2013 to provide internet services in rural Africa. The company also provides educational content through multimedia videos. Surf belongs to Silicon-Valley company, EveryLayer, an internet provider in emerging markets.
The union of the two companies is expected to improve internet access in Kenya where the penetration rate is 43 per cent according to the Communication Authority’s Q3 2018 report. BRCK and Surf will have more than 2000 public hotspots across the country with an estimated 500,000 monthly users. Kenya has 19.9 million internet subscribers.
Data consumption in Kenya is expected to grow steadily as more people gain access to the internet. The emergence of several data companies has created stiff competition in the sector, which is beneficial to consumers.
In 2018, most data providers revised their prices downward in an attempt to grow their market share. Kenya’s largest telecommunication company, Safaricom, is one of the companies that reduced its data charges due to serious competition from rival firms. The company is keen on growing its 19.4 per cent fixed data subscribers.
BRCK recorded 20 per cent month on month growth of fixed data subscribers in 2018. With Surf’s acquisition, it is expected to grow at a faster pace. The company, with operations in Kenya and Rwanda, will improve the internet sector in Kenya by increasing competition and internet access in the country.